Skip to main content

Corrections Officer Neil Costello named 2022 Michigan Department of Corrections Officer of the Year

Contact: Jonovan Luckey, MCO Public Affairs Director 
(517) 485-3310

Contact: Chris Gautz, MDOC Public Information Officer 
(517) 256-3790

Corrections Officer Neil Costello named 2022 Michigan Department of Corrections Officer of the Year

Lansing, Mich. – Neil Costello, a corrections officer at the Michigan Reformatory (RMI) in Ionia, has been named the 2022 Michigan Department of Corrections Officer of the Year.

“Neil Costello has made a significant impact on his facility and the department through his positivity and willingness to provide support to his colleagues,” said Michigan Department of Corrections Director Heidi Washington. “His effort to ensure his facility is safe and all operations run smoothly, even adjusting his personal schedule at times to meet the facility’s needs, are commendable. I’m excited to congratulate Officer Costello for this well-deserved honor.”

Officer Costello has been an MDOC corrections officer for 19 years. He is known at work for his decision making, sharp attention to detail, and ability to work well in high-pressure situations.

He is respected by his peers and supervisors alike and has been an asset to the safety and security of the Michigan Reformatory. Because of his skills and attentiveness, he has made multiple difficult split-second decisions that have saved the lives of his fellow staff and prisoners. He is always looking out for the safety of others.

As an officer at RMI, Officer Costello has covered numerous positions, including volunteering to work out of class as a sergeant to gain experience and help the facility in a time of need due to a shortage of sergeants. He is a backup grievance coordinator and hearing investigator.

“I feel incredibly humbled and honored being selected to be officer of the year,” Costello said. “I have a lot of hardworking, dedicated staff who share a common goal to make sure the facility is safe and runs smoothly working around me. They along with my family motivate me daily and help keep me grounded. I am incredibly thankful for my family and friends.  They inspire me to be the best version of myself.”

Officer Costello volunteers at the Ionia Free Fair every year on COPS Day to help with officer recruitment. He also helps fundraise for ACS Relay for Life and the ALS Association.

Ray Sholtz, who represents corrections officers on the Officer of the Year selection committee and is the Chief of Staff at Michigan Corrections Organization, said all the finalists for the award this year were phenomenal.

“Congratulations to Officer Costello and the finalists for MDOC Officer of the Year. This was the strongest field of candidates I have seen during my time as a member of the selection committee. Each one of these candidates are exceptional, and credits to the profession,” Sholtz said. “Officer Costello is an extraordinary officer, and an even more impressive person. His dedication to his fellow officers and the people they protect and serve inside the facility is admirable.”

The Michigan Correctional Officers’ Training Council, a group comprised of representatives from the MDOC, Michigan Corrections Organization, law enforcement and higher education, chose Costello for the honor from a pool of five finalists.

Finalists included:  Corrections Transportation Officer Thaddeus Ostrewich, St. Louis Correctional Facility who passed away last year; Corrections Officer James Taylor, Parnall Correctional Facility; Corrections Officer Brent Boeskool, Muskegon Correctional Facility; and Absconder Recovery Unit Investigator Philip Smith.